tv British House of Commons Tributes to Charles Kennedy CSPAN June 8, 2015 12:35am-1:46am EDT
blessed with the popular touch. he was a good talker, but an even better listener. above all and perhaps most strikingly, charles had the ability to reach out to millions of people of all political persuasions across the country who were untouched by come and in many cases actively hostile to politics. in this seminal sense, therefore, charles was the boy next door of british public life. we salute him. we honor his memory, and we send today our sincere heartfelt and
deepest condolences to his family and his friends. >> here, here. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the whole house were shocked and so deeply saddened by the sudden news yesterday morning of the death of charles kennedy. as you said it's a tragic loss to his family, his son donald is 10 years old and i know the thoughts and prayers of the whole house are with his family and his friends at this time. mr. speaker's right now should come together in a trip to a man whose character and courage inspired us all. and who served serve his constituents so well for almost 32 years. there was something very special about charles. it is good for an alastair campbell but yesterday, he spoke fluent human because he had humanity and everything in every cell. mr. speaker, charles kennedy will be remembered for his success him for his principled and intellect, and above all for his incredible warmth and good humor. i will say a word about each.
he was elected as the youngest member of parliament in 1983 at just 23. it was a remarkable victory extended for a new party while studying in america at the time. he went from fourth place to first defeating an established conservative had been in this house for 13 years. from their his political career took off. just a year earlier he had been asked by give advise what is going to get in his life. he replied that he could be a teacher or a journalist, but all if all else failed there was always politics. [laughter] his own career advisers wrote to congratulate him sing i cannot present all else failed. [laughter] the new member can he face ever challenges at the beginning of his parliamentary career. his arrival in westminster was only a third time he'd been to london in his life. arrange music in a friends spare room and he know how you got from hemisphere to westminster big in fact it was worse than that.
he didn't know how to get to heathrow damage of charles kennedy played a pivotal role in bringing together two parties. the sdp and the liberals. as leader he took the liberal democrats to the best election result a third party in british politics than in 100 years. his ambition for his party was to find themselves part of the government of the country. his achievements laid the foundation for that to happen. while he was never the greatest fan of the coalition and indeed, vote against its formation, he never spoke out against the lib dem participation in it. for as much as he was a man of strong views he was also a man of great loyalty. the equally resisted any overtures from the labour party, dismissing rumors he would rejoin them up i sang i will go out of this world feetfirst with my lib dem membership card in my pocket.
as ever with charles kennedy he was a man of his word. mr. speaker, charles kennedy was also a man of great principle and great intellect. at the heart of his political views was a deep commitment to social justice. a passionate belief in europe as we bring people together but most outspoken contribution in recent years was the principles that he took against the iraq war. looking back it is easy to forget just what a standard that was, taking abuse from the major parties on both sides of the house and adopting a position that wasn't even supported by the previous leader of his own party. but do there was something about the deeply respectful way in which he would conduct an argument. he didn't believe in making enemies out of opponents, and he didn't as he put waste time just rubbishing everybody else. he made friends even with those who disagreed with them. i think i was one of the reasons why he was so light and so widely supported. in taking on the personal challenges he faced. i had the privilege of getting to know him a little bit when i was a new thing be back in 2001.
we both were in the smoking room and while we disagreed about many things we both war and his partner i find myself thinking about just what exporter talent he was. all the while he was battling his demons, he could make amazing speeches, delighted to the audience, inspire his followers, take down his opponents with his brilliant debate and crack jokes all at the same time. above all, mr.speaker, it is his warmth and good humor for which charles will be remembered most fondly. he had with connecting with people, even those who didn't know well or even at all. and attributes to nelson mandela in this house 18 months ago charles told his sister of their first meeting. he said he was introduced by his friend who introduced him to nelson mandela as a colleague from the house of commons called nigel kennedy. as a charles remarked at the time, the president characteristic firm handshake and show the welcome confirmed two things for me that day.
first of all it he had never heard of nigel kennedy but far more distressing he sure as hell had neither heard of me either. [laughter] mr. speaker, he was the most human of politicians and in the words of charles kennedy himself, the vast majority of people think there's a hell of a lot more to life than just politics and you go to bed that in mind because you're actually kind representing it as best he was the best the politics can be and that is how we should remember him. >> here, here. >> harriet harman. >> we also are so saddened to make up to the news yesterday the death of charles kennedy and to try to express the feelings of the whole house in his generous tribute, as you given your comments, mr. speaker. it to come together to mourn his death and to pay tribute to his extraordinary qualities can iink there is much that all of us in political life can learn from charles kennedy. he was an outstanding parliamentarian and dedicated his whole life to politics. it is a powerful reminder to all of us that giving your life to
politics, being a career politician can be an honorable not an ignoble thing. he took a philosophical approach to the ups and downs of political life your despite the adversity that he faced, they never became bitter because he cared more about his political cause and he did it on his personal career. he had the deep seriousness of purpose and great intellect but he wore it lightly. he to be the most intelligent person in the room, but still be warm, funny and generous which made him convincing and engaging in equal measure. he showed you could be in profound disagreement on matters of serious political judgment while still accepting the good faith of those who take a different view. he disagreed with the decision to go to war in iraq, and he was
right, i never felt the need to denigrate those of us who got it wrong here despite the fact that he was strongly committed to his own party, that didn't stop them having friendships across party lines. he was partisan but he was still generous, enough to admire people in other parties. mr. speaker, history will show that he was one of a great generation of scottish mps at a time when scotland gave this house some of the finest politicians of the era. exceptional politicians like john smith, gordon brown, robin cook, he stands a tall amongst the scottish generation who are head and shoulders above their peers. i remember when he first came to this house, aged only 23, the golden boy from the highlands he shown in this chamber. he was elected so young and it
is a tragedy that he died so young. all our thoughts are with his family. >> here, here. >> mr. nick clegg. >> mr. speaker, a few days ago i got in touch with the charles because i was looking for a telephone number of someone we both knew. his friends will not be surprised to learn that we were texting each other. he was notoriously bad at actually entering his own, but famously fluid and pessimistic he said he didn't have the number on them like he would get back to me this week. because you're spending time with his beloved son, donald during his half term break. while we all the be member charles as a formidable parliamentarian and the much loved politician it is worth remember in that he retained his greatest pride and devotion to his family. he lived next door to his parents and his brother and his grandfather's house near fort william, and cared for the through sickness and old age.
much to he was wedded to politics all his life, i think charles would have wanted to be remembered as a kind and loving father, brother and son first, and an accomplished politician second. my thoughts and condolences are with all his family, especially donald, and friends today. maybe, mr. speaker, it was that enduring humanity people always came before politics were charles, which is reflected in the heartfelt tributes over the last 24 hours from so many outside the world of politics who did know him directly but somehow still felt they did know him and could relate to him. he had and still has that rare gift for someone in public life that people think of him, they smile. he saw good in people and even his staunchest political foes,
and it always brought out the best in people in return. he was the polar opposite, mr. speaker, of a cardboard cutout party politician. brave yet the vulnerable brilliant yet flawed. as he would often say to people he admired most, he was a fully signed up member of the human race. and mr. speaker, he was funny, very funny. but it's good humor must not obscure the fact that there was a steely courage up at him, memorably on display when he took a principled decision to oppose the iraq war. just because that might seem an obvious thing to have done now it most certainly wasn't at the time. charles was often a lone voice in this house standing up against the consensus in favor of war on all sides.
the fact that he was proved so spectacularly right, the tribute to his judgment and his intuitive commonsense. mr. speaker, i think charles would be the first to admit that he was not exactly a detailed man when he came to policy. he treated the necessary with often tedious tedious detail of those discussions within the liberal democrats with the same attitude he viewed been never in his own constituency, something to be admired from afar but a trial to be endured by others. one of his earliest decisions was to end the convention that the leader of the party should attend all of the lengthy meetings of the liberal democrat federal party policy committee. it was a characteristically wise decision for which i was forever
grateful. his disregard for the undergrowth of policymaking should not obscure his unusually instinctive and deadly serious appreciation of the bigger picture in politics. whether on europe constitutional reform, or arguments against nationalism or his lifelong belief in social justice, charles had a gut instinct about the big challenges and the big choices we face. not the daily twists and turns and slights of hand atomic so much of westminster politics.
he understood above all i believe that politics is at its best when it speaks to people's values in their hearts, not just the policy debates of the heads. mr. speaker, there is so much that i will miss about charles his wit, his warmth, his modesty. but i suspect many of us will feel is absolute most keenly when our country decide in the next year or two whether we belong or not in the european union. because of all his convictions his internationalism endured most strongly. he was a proud highlander, a proud scott, and if you believe in our community of nations within the united kingdom. but also a lifelong believer that our outfit facing character as a country is best secured by remaining at the heart of europe rather than retreating elsewhere elsewhere. and as the debate becomes dominated as it no doubt well by the noise, i will miss the lyrical clerisy of charles belief that our future of an open heart and generous spirit of the country is at stake, and must be defended at all costs .
mr. speaker, a couple of years ago charles and i found ourselves cowering under shelter on the terrace of a national liberal club in the pouring rain for what he called a wee bit of fresh air, a wonderfully inappropriate euphemism for a quick smoke. we talk to like about the difficulty that the liberal democratdemocrat s were facing within the then coalition government. it is a measure of the man that even though he was almost alone in our party in not supporting the decision to enter into coalition in may 2010, there was never a hint of reproach or i told you so in the advice he gave to me than come and in other conversations. he remained loyal no matter what
the circumstances and no matter how strong the sensation must have been to blow his own trumpet and say that events that prove him right. he was far too subtle for that. he had made his views clear at the outset but respected in good faith that it was his party colleagues seeking to achieve in government and provide support and advice every step of the way. which is why it was no surprise when he said after being challenged about his loyalty after the 20th election the mr. speaker, has already cited, i will go out of this world feetfirst with my lib dem membership card in my pocket. i am just devastated that it happened so soon. our liberal political family has lost one of its most admired advocates. british politics has lost one of its best storytellers. this house has lost one of its warmest wits and most loyal parliamentarian's. mr. speaker, if we can all carry ourselves with a little more of the honesty, wisdom and humility of charles kennedy, politics would be held much higher esteem than it is today. >> here, here.
>> tracked on crippled the ability to make a very brief addition to the tribute already paid by the party leaders which i wholly agree. i, too, am one of those remember charles kennedy first arrived in the house of commons in 1983 when he made a very startling impression. he was very young. he was a student there he looked like a schoolboy, and rapidly people realize that in addition to all these rather striking attributes seek combined it with being highly intelligent, very articulate, very self confident and capable addressing this house in a very, very fluid and elegant way with the relaxed charm which was his very distinctive style which i don't recall anybody actually achieving in the way that he did. he rapidly became very prominent
not only in parliament but nationally and he looked as though he would have been destined for a brilliant national career are far from a limited expectation of the social democrats and the liberal party with which he didn't associate himself well, he did actually achieve a good national career and eventually took his party to heights that would've been unimaginable electorally when he first arrived. and i do believe that his own distinct personality made a very great contribution to that. people have said that his great moment was the iraq war, and i do agree with that. but he actually made many other strong principled positions, on europe he was wrong sometimes as it was on the coalition, but he
always had this candid sincerity in which he expressed his views and he always came to clear and principled conclusions which he was prepared to argue for. we will all miss him. his personal attributes we all know but they never make an unpleasant. sometimes they made it a little difficult and it made him a more rounded character. i'm glad to say that he was one of the last of the great tradition which said you should best address political problems in the atmosphere of a smoke-filled room, which has been lost today. [laughter] if i may i would agree with the right honorable lady.
charles kenny will leave their mark on this house for many years to come. my sympathies also go out to his family and friends. >> here, here. >> mr. speaker, i first met charles kennedy on his first day in the house of commons when i went into the members dining room and saw this young man looking lost, wandering around and wondering what to do. i asked him to join me at lunch, and i found out who he was, and he was the youngest member of the house of commons. but the fact that he was young although it meant that he was not that stage going to assert himself, did that mean that he didn't know why he was in the house of commons. it was in the house of commons
to stand up for certain principles about which he felt strongly, and he stood for those principles in this house of commons and outside this house of commons from that first day right through to the end. he had very, very strong views but he was never vindictive. he was never benevolent and expounding those views. he knew where he stood. you knew when charles kennedy spoke, he thought it out, he thought it through, and at the same time you would not budge him and bless you could argue him out of a position, and his positions were pretty strong. it's been mentioned again and
again, and rightly so, that he opposed the iraq war, and it has been mentioned again that that was not an easy thing to do at the time. and was not the view of the overwhelming majority of the house of commons at that time, but you would not budge charles if he worked out a position and he believed that position to be right. he was always fun, it was good to be in his company, you rarely saw him without a smile on his face, but the smile on his face was not a smile of appeasement that it was a smile of genealogy and it was a smile of goodwill. i knew him over the years that i always valued his company and his opinions. i join with the rest of the house in expressing my profound sympathy to his family. we shall miss him.
>> here, here. >> thank you, mr. speaker. may i begin by expressing my sadness and sadness for all members of the scottish national party about the untimely death of charles kenny but most people in the political village, most people here knew he had been not well for quite some time. during the last parliament offices on the third floor which is run accord from one another and we would love into each other regularly, and come into the chamber are returning from committees. it was clear that he was still having to battle his challenges but not in my worst dreams of ever imagine that he be taken from us at the young age of 55. politics is a very hard business, mr. speaker, and while i and my colleagues delighted the snp one constituency -- i was generally said that charles kennedy would no longer be in parliament. it's the mark of the meant that when i get in touch with him after the general election he readily agreed to meet up and
share his experience of his leadership of the liberal democrats when that was the third party in the house of commons. people across politics will attest to the generosity spirit that charles kennedy showed the people on all sides of the party divide. for those of not yet had the opportunity, i would strongly recommend, strong urge every to read the blog by alastair campbell which illustrates his friendship. my predecessor as member of parliament margaret ewing, charles kenny were very, very good friends and i know there are others in the south and elsewhere that enjoyed the friendship and mutual respect tremendously. we all know that charles kennedy was a formidable and witty debater, and his skills were honed long before he was elected to this chamber unbelievably at the age of 23 pitches skills were honed at his beloved glasco
university. as anybody who has been debated against anybody from glasco university, they will attest to be -- that has come through the glasco university union. it's won more world championships more than any other university. charles kennedy was one of the top debaters and winning the observer mason accolade shared with the former leader of the labour party john smith with the former sect of state of scotland and first minister, and with my honorable friend the member for east martin scherpen my memory of the charles kennedy however is in this chamber and it was in this powerful condemnation of the iraq war, a position shared
between the liberal democrats and the national party. charles kennedy question the prime minister of the time repeatedly on the case for war, on the lack of evidence of weapons of mass destruction, on the role of the united nations and international law. and it's a pity those members selected will never have to joy of enriching he could be today's house of commons. he was a man of considerable wit of great charm. he was passionate about his politics are not very deep-seated views. however passionate he was, there is never a hint of malice or threat a behavior from an. he was one of those great politicians who would absolutely love a stranger's are half an hour later. he was a man of great authenticity in an era where the public politicians are molded to be as colorless as possible. a man of great integrity who spoke from the heart about the issues he cares so much about. and he loves this place from the minute he came here and i remember coming to see him a few weeks after the election. he absolutely loved the house of commons. however important he became in this place, he was never self-important at any time. i will remember him for integrity, humanity and decency
and many of us in this house will have that accolade. i am very sad for his family for their timely loss. i'm sad for us all because their entire passing. >> here, here. >> dr. alistair donald. >> thank you, mr. speaker. could i reiterate the words of my previous speaker here. it is a sad day for all of us in this house. i've been privileged to have this opportunity to express my condolences to those in my party to the family and friends of our good friend and colleague. from a distance i first became aware of charles when something of a boy wonder he stormed to election as a member of this house in the early 80s. he was a man of great wit and intelligence. he was passionate. he had deep-seated views. however passionate he was, there was never a hint of malice or threatening from him. he was one of those great politicians who would absolutely love to have a brazing wrote with you and a pint in a
stranger's bar. he was a man of great authenticity in an era when politicians are molded to be as colorless as possible. he was a man of great integrity who spoke from the heart about the issues that he cared so much about. and he loves this place from the minute he came here and i remember coming to see him a few weeks after the election. he absolutely loved the house of commons. however important he became in this place, he was never self-important at any time. i will remember him for integrity, humanity and decency and many of us in this house will have that accolade. i am very sad for his family, for their timely loss. i'm sad for us all because their entire passing. >> dr. alistair donald. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
could i reiterate the words of my previous speaker here. it is a sad day for all of us in this house. i've been privileged to have this opportunity to express my condolences to those in my party to the family and friends of our good friend and colleague. from a distance i first became aware of charles when something of a boy wonder he stormed to election as a member of this house in the early 80s. later i met him at various event. he was always generous, warm humble, humorous. that has been reflected by the comments of others here today. charles reached out to everyone and it's been remarked earlier. when i selected two.us he was always kind, considerate helpful and a genuine creaky
machine. so many warm comments from people across the house today. we have heard honorable collects deferred to his wisdom on iraq. he was a formidable politician and a great colleague, not least in iraq but across a whole range of issues including europe and has been passion. today we are all much less for his going. he's gone to his eternal reward much, much too soon and i extend my deepest sympathies to his family and i pray that god in his mercy will live kindly aunt charlie's gentle soul.
>> so if i may just say a few words because i walked into this house for the first time as a member with charles almost 32 years to the day and he was already really amongst our new intake quite a celebrity. another large touring intake. they come and they go. but his highland seat and really for those two years i sat in this house, and i was always an opponent. we were soulmates and sometimes they had to go against the group and i had to do. there is something there that was very powerful. i like to think in some previous life, he and i might have marched together in some focus scores. i don't know. his courses were never hopeless and i think his legacy will live on. let me say just a brief moment about that.
i think it's been said on the iraq war that he wanted to place his party as a radical alternative to labour. but i think it went much deeper than that. it was more powerful. my right honorable friend wouldn't have listened to his arguments and followed into his lobby if we hadn't been convinced by what he was saying. but there were limits to liberal imperialism and that he was a true liberal and understood those limits and understood what a difficult part of the world that is. he's been proved right on that. i think if he were still bare or any other place shortly, he would have been really a powerful advocate for our union because his was a gentle touch or kiss him, not some narrowminded nationalism and in terms of the participation of the scottish national parliament
, which is very important. we must welcome participation and recognize they must take part in all of our debates. he would've been a powerful voice in that, too. he would've been a powerful voice in other areas. for instance, his opposition to the coalition, i would have been quite disastrous. it wasn't just that he recognized his difficult for an party protests have become a party of power. there is something much more principled than not. i think he instinctively believes the policy is not just about the pursuit of power. it's about the pursuit of truth also and it is always a powerful advocate. when i saw them operate in europe, i fell, i felt he was administered 98 they are. that's not be too serious. but there is much more to that. he was determined to extend freedom and democracy to eastern europe. he played a powerful part in that body. so while the series i admire ken and i think it's true to say,
mr. speaker that when we die, we can only take with us what we have given away. this man gave everything to our house. there never was a braver or truer spirit. >> thank you for the opportunity to speak today is to make tribute the previous manner member. charles was a man clearly loved by many and this house, was also deeply loved by many throughout his constituency. the prime minister spoke about charles winning the seat in 1983. i suspect many colleagues didn't expect that mr. kennedy would win that seat. the stories are still legendary. the campaigning that took place back in 1983. charles was a man clearly loved by many and this house, was also deeply loved by many throughout his constituency. the prime minister spoke about charles winning the seat in 1983. i suspect many colleagues didn't expect that mr.
kennedy would win that seat. the stories are still legendary. the campaigning that took place back in 1983. charros traveling around the constituency with his father. his father played the fiddle. and what truly happens in the election campaign as charros charm to constituents, just as they did when he latched onto the political season, became a big figure not just in scotland, but the world stage as the leader he became the liberal democrats. he loved campaigning and indeed he still loved campaigning as we all saw in the recent general election campaign his desire to appear in terms of his own public meetings and the meeting seidel referred to by so many.
it was an absolute privilege to campaign against him. when i look at the strength of our own of our adventures here today with 56 members of the scottish national party elected it is truly the national type that meant charles lost the seat. hink many have referred to this as well with colin highland terms dashiki chappie that was demonstrated in his debating style. we should also reflect it tends to be complex and why else do you have the exterior of one thing to engage in debate and the results of the character who had many traditional highland characteristics have been a rather shy carrots there as well. the contrast between the two. i think much has been said about the humanity and humility of the
man himself. one of course was destined to be out of respect for other's opinions. whether the iraq war or anything else. it will not be from the recent period, but actually the first election to the scottish parliament in 299. i can recall about charles and myself were in the television and it wasn't unlike the election for the s&p. they were a number of seats who would've liked to have one that we had done. i was getting a hard time in debate and i couldn't remember -- rather than if we recognize the kind of evening they were happening. that was the mark of a man eight descent, human man that saw the struggles others were going for. i deeply regret the passing of this supremely powerful man.
rest in peace. >> henry belding. >> i want to pay a short personal tribute to a remarkable man. like my former friend i came in on this very hot date june 83 with charles kennedy. you were given an office for many. he got to know all of the other mps and we spent a lot of time finding our own level mainly on the terrace. i also had many party groups with charles kennedy and after another brilliant insight that performance i remember saying was just in the future party leader. he said don't be so ridiculous. early ambition to represent constituents and have a good
time. indeed he had a very good time because it wasn't until july 15th that he made his maiden speech. i remember him sitting sandwiched between roy jenkins jerry av on july 16 of 83. it was one of the most brilliant maiden speeches. anyone who hasn't read it i recommend they read it because it was a remarkable speech. he had the extraordinary quality whenever he met people of making them feel that much better about themselves. about four days before the house he asked me how things were going. we talked about the highlands and i wished him well. but he did have that really quite amazing ability to make everyone just feel that much
better about the day better about their lives. out of those passions were obviously his family above all else. crosscut university and europe. a quite remarkable person has left our lives many, many other people as well. >> on an occasion like this our thoughts are first and foremost with the family of charles kennedy especially of course on behalf of my right honorable friend as we offered the serious condolences. their loss is immeasurable, but i hope they find some comfort in the data and the extent of the tone of the tributes offered
here today to demand they love dearly and whom the country as a whole more in spirit charles kennedy was that rare thing. he was a professional politician from almost the start of his career, politician to his fingertips. not someone apart not someone distant, but someone who embodied the point of why they become passionate about belief in politics. others have charted his skills as a public speaker, but the man i saw most of all for his sincerity and honesty is following the leadership party to his successors to nothing but public professional loyalty and the party to its grievous electro- almost a century, one
that he left in good political health. his personal tragedy both of the demented terrible disease whose effects are intermittent and especially cool and the severability to be himself. the real charles canady with the man remembered today and admire. he believed utterly and the causes he stood for without hitting anyone else for believing in theirs. i remember meeting him many mornings with good natured relish for his political false but in his convictions. they are far too premature passing the greatest memories he leaves it to me and most of us i suspect are his immense warmhearted miss, tremendous ability and his good humor. may god loves all his loved ones
and prepend at this tragic time. >> i rise very briefly because of the credibility of his parliamentarian. i had the good fortune to spend a gear with charles in boston commons i said mary mccloud. my experience of campaigning during the 1992 general election resounds very well what the word speech which they made a few moments ago from his place. charles could easily have represented this turning up in his highlands, trampling all over it turning up every single event. for example the photographs
appeared in the journal with the headline and the tory and i saw charles that evening. he said the journal gets everything wrong. and indeed i'm extremely glad they did get that wrong. charles was on a magnanimous in every single deal and i had with him during election campaigns. for example, the chair trusting to public meetings and he was only kind and personified. he said i can't remember the liberal democrat policies. can you remind me. five years later when i appeared in my more natural home the first to welcome me with open arms when i arrived in the place and has remained a good parliamentary friend ever since. his more magnanimity and personality with a highlander through and through.
highly mike of interest in party politics and friendship for people of every kind. e spoke for ordinary people who understood him. even the true blue tories have bush at that time. they absolutely loved charlie. he was assigned parliamentarian and a true friend. >> tom watson. >> i got to see beyond the public figure in party leader. he was shy but always polite. he was kind. he was engaging and he was a good dad. i enjoyed his right humor. he used to joke about how we shared the same private investigator from the news of the world. he had the ability to bring manatee to me than the dark
corners of political life that made the bad day at the office easier to cope with. get as many honorable members know all too painfully politics often takes a toll on the lives of our loved ones in a way we've never properly know around her stand. to you mr. speaker, if i may apply to direct these words at donald son of charles and sarah. your father was a very great man. he stood up for what he believed in. he led a party at the center left with dignity and compassion and when you are older you will know your mom and dad lived in a cause greater than themselves and you will be proud. the >> thank you mr. speaker. charles kennedy was an talent
then it says so much for so many honorable members in this house has spoken with such complete genuine warmth about charles. he had the extraordinary ability to reach out beyond the narrow confines of his own party to make genuine friendships with people of other political persuasions and to achieve an extraordinary affinity with people beyond this place speaking the language people understood not in the language of the westminster village. and that was a remarkable talent not shared by very many people here. but i guess overall we probably all share an overwhelming emotion that our hearts just go out to young donald and to his family on this day. that is the most important thing. our thoughts are very much with you all.
i had the privilege of working as parliamentary private secretary to charles and my first parliament here between 2003 and 2005 and i saw at close quarters has extraordinary compassion his never seizing courtesy to people. he never lost his temper in dealing with people. the power of argument to win his case. and he tragically suffered from an illness an illness that afflicts too many people in our country. mr. speaker there is still a stigma that attaches to mental health and addiction. all of us here and beyond still have a lot to learn and how we combat that stigma and treated as a genuine illness and tried
to offer help to the individual as much as they possibly can. there are three things in particular that i remember charles fort. first of all i think in the way this is what to find him many members of the public. his courageous stand on the war in iraq. the prime minister was absolutely right to reflect on the pressure, the string that he must have been under when he spoke in this house but the mass strength of the labour government in the conservative benches all against him, that he was steadfast. he knew what he believed. he articulated the case very strongly and effectively any reached out to our country at a very critical moment in our history. the second thing that defined them for me is his internationalism. his total commitment to the european course not for any
narrow economic case but because of the real power of the european union bringing countries together, turning its back on conflicts, working together, trading together, bringing people together. this politics is about uniting people, not dividing people. that is what made his commitment so strong to the european union. finally come his complete commitment to social justice to challenge injustice wherever he saw it. mr. speaker, everyone will know the liberal voice in our country has been diminished as a result of the general election. i and the rest of my posse must do everything we can united together to ensure charles legacy to rebuild the liberal voice in our country and i'm
sure everyone in this house, whatever their political persuasion will recognize the liberalism and important that half of the house of parliament. thank you very much indeed. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm grateful for the opportunity to pay tribute on behalf of the economic group in my former colleagues in the 2001 parliament and particularly alden stewart who is charles kennedy fred and worked alongside him to oppose the war in iraq. it was very straightforward we were elected in their opposition. for charles kennedy and is a bigger challenge taken the brave position against prevailing opinion here and in the media to give sources meeting colleagues to follow. it was not easy for any of us. it was not a comfortable place to be.
mr. speaker, we've come to the place not to be comfortable or rather do what we see as being right. charles kennedy took that path as he prevailed. today our thoughts are with his family, for his future legacy. idleness, and the rest of his distinction. charles kennedy achieved many things. the opposition to the war in iraq will prove to be his distinction. >> mr. tim ferrin. >> mr. speaker, i was selected to this house in may 2005 with charles kennedy as my leader. he was meant in the weeks running up to the election to pay visits u.s.
he had a very good excuse to miss the appointment. i remember a time the immense pride we folks in charles is a leadership and the pride he felt in becoming a father. in the weeks that went past the election everything counts and i'm quite sure he helped contribute to the capturing after 96 years of tory rule. as the months went by and there's a good number of us, i didn't get the phone call. there is shadowing junior and junior shadow ministry. i got a phone call probably in september from charles and he said i'm sorry about giving you a job. would you like to be --
[inaudible] an entire natural fit it was the only time i ever felt forgotten by charles beard the year before that, and a year younger than charles at his passing. i lost my mother. i remember seeing him and he knew exactly about the situation and he had immense compassion for me. never stop talking to me about the situation. about how i was. he went to some very difficult things in terms of his personal health. he was primarily concerned about the well-being of others. he was the persuader because he was able to reach people in their guy. people made their minds up but generally speaking you will name the people if you can get people there.
on the mp ever to gain a seat in the general election by the way. he went on for years later when the ftp and liberals move to argue against his own leader. you could see the faces of people changing their minds because charles kennedy reached into their heart. to my mind what he was so good that was the ability to communicate and get to people. charles kennedy is human. yes he was. but he wasn't contrite. he gave me a piece of advice that said be yourself. charles was successful because he was himself. my advice for any view of europe are invited say no unless you want to be made out to be or must do our charles kennedy. he absolutely was of himself.
humanity is one thing. his principal spoken several times. it cannot be said enough. his stance against the iraq war seems like the right thing to do. 12 years ago was not. he was surrounded by people as if he was somehow an appeaser of saddam hussein. a front-page picture of the anti-patriotic rattlesnake. he must be doing something that would not happen. he was principled and changed people's mind. he was human, principled and effective. that our party for the largest number. human history humanity that principle in effectiveness, those three things are connected. if we want to understand why he was great it was because it was himself.
people say politicians should have a life in politics before they become members of parliament. it is not what you have done. it is who you are an charles kennedy was a very, very special man. donald, you should be very proud of your daddy. i am proud to call him my friend. god rest you, charlie. the >> charles kennedy was one of the associate editors that the house magazine of which i am editor and we have meetings every tuesday morning for an hour to discuss what happened during the week and where we go the following week. charles made some of the meetings and didn't make others. but what was always very clear is we have extraordinary industry exchanges of opinion. he never left the room for something like 15 years what was said in that room stayed in that
room and the discussions were always enlightening because charles would come up with point of view is that we simply hadn't occurred to to begin with. people weren't just adding in the back. it was clear they were stabbing him in the front. i just want to say something very briefly given that the people outside will hear this as well. i think donald should read the book -- [inaudible] he says every time you look up in the sky, you will see the star and it is me smiling -- [inaudible] i think all of us will end up saying we are glad to have known
charles. >> mr. gray while holland. >> thank you mr. speaker. charles kennedy was one of those people you remembered meeting for the first time. his distinctive look, his very attractive highland accent, his unusual and warm manner as a politician. i remember meeting him excitedly as a new prospective parliamentary candidate. i was touched how genuine this great figure of liberalism that i was finally getting to meet actually was and he wanted to know how i was and how things were going in leagues. and i was very lucky during the 2005 election campaign to not have one but two visits from charles. the first was to an older people's resident. the fact it was a rally towards the end of the campaign when it
appeared that i might make the breakthrough for the liberal democrats. both occasions, charles split up the room when he walked in. at the rally he inspired people to do more over the last 24 hours to win the seat. but it is the ordinary people, not party activists who are particularly touched by charles and his natural style and the way he engaged so humbly with the hard-working care staff and people at the road the end cricket ground. everyone commented he was such a nice bloke and a party leader could be such. i'm proud of the selected in 2005 charles kennedy is a great
theater. he had the best ever result for the liberal democrats, something we will not forget. i was doubly overjoyed when charles became the new father with the joyous news of a rather inconveniently time general election campaign and a few later i had my own first child, my daughter, isabella. we would meet and chat sometimes a little tired and how the new father talk about how we were getting on. he always asked and truly cared. he's a truly genuine warm and humble man and he always asked how you were and how your family was before he got into politics. my sincere condolences go to his family and his friends and all who knew him. you are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time
and the zealotry been discussed i hope the genuine outpouring of tributes to charles is some comfort at this difficult time. what if they liberal democrats rather than 62 and 2005 we now have the job to restore the liberal democrats to where charles took us to in 2005. that is what charles would've wanted and that is what we work and strive to do. >> stephen downes. >> mr. speaker, many hearts broke yesterday morning when we heard the news. it came as such a dreadful shout. it is equally heartbreaking i would suggest the charter kennedy our fellow parliamentarian can not be aware of this great outpouring of
affection that has swept across the whole nation wider than the shores of these islands. i think maybe we could have done more to help and support charles and to let him know how loved he was because it may be too late now but it will be a comfort to the family for them to know this is a man who was loved and adored across the political spectrum come across the national spectrum. certainly all those who knew him grew to love him and told him his great affection. and those with us now never forget that we do actually over that support and friendship. i have to say charles kennedy said the industry standard for humor and wit in politics for many years. i have to say this is rather distressing to some people who aspired to the foothills.
for many years, he and austin mitchell and life in the airways of the freeway common tree. they were no as mitch, creech and tage. for charles kennedy a fine figure of a man in every sense. my memories are not just a 10 absolutely creasing the sides of the nation with the humor not just on the radio to television and as i may say you either have to be prepared to be a product or charles kennedy. [laughter] demonstrably i am not charles
kennedy. but there is another side to him. he was a man of great and deep faith virtue of great strength from the well of that faith. some people in this house know that on wednesday evenings when we celebrate passing the club he will be very very quietly. i appreciate his roman catholic tradition to present at the back of the church in case there is a collection. [laughter] charles would be there very very quietly, worshiping with this thought a nature such strength again. i hope you'll forgive me for pointing out tonight mass will be for the family and the under craft chapel. even the words must give us pause to realize how much we have lost, but how blessed we were to have known this great
ma >> next of the supreme court oral argument in elonis v. united states. then freedom of information requests. then "q&a." >> tomorrow, deputy secretary of state will speak at the american jewish committee global forum. followed by a panel discussion. two state solution or two state solution? -- illusion? >> monday night on "the communicators" we met up with andrew keen and what he feels internet is not the answer.
>> the internet is not the answer at the moment. it is not the answer in the sense it is not working currently. it is lending itself to undermining jobs. it is compounding the inequality of our economic lives. massive monopolies. it has created this data economy . we have become the product. >> monday night "the communicators" on c-span 2. >> the new congressional direct three is a handy guide to the 114th congress with color photos and while and contact information and twitter handles.
and district maps come a foldout map of capitol hill, and a look at congressional committees, the president's cabinet come and stay governor. order your copy today. c-span.org. >> left week, the supreme court threw out the conviction of a pennsylvania man who was sentenced to prison for making threats on his facebook page. the supreme court decided the case 7-2 on statutory grounds not under the first amendment. the court ruled it was not enough for prosecutors to show that the comments of elonis would make a reasonable person feel threatened, but they questioned whether elonis's mental state. elonis argued he is an aspiring rap artists.
>> elonis v. united states. >> amendment is currently supported by history and tradition, including -- the government has failed to -- >> i'm not sure the english language did much of the service. threatened could mean so many things speed did you mean to carry it out? do you intend to intimidate the person? or that no one possibly believe?
>> but if you look at the tradition, threatening speech was not -- into the late 20th century, american threat statutes required proof of a subjective at 10. because of that -- >> if you threaten someone with violent and don't -- >> i think assault is somewhat different. so could be attempted robbery. when it involves placing someone in fear, there is intent.